Just as they did while playing together the last four years at Delaware Valley College, former Public League football players Aaron Wilmer and Rasheed Bailey shined at pro day last Monday at Villanova.
Wilmer, a dual-threat quarterback and George Washington graduate, displayed a live arm and accuracy with his throws. Bailey, a dynamic wide receiver from Roxborough, showed his soft hands and flexibility.
The result for the Philadelphia natives, with at least three Eagles scouts in attendance, was an invitation to work out for the team Wednesday morning at the NovaCare Complex.
No longer flying under the radar, Wilmer and Bailey, a stellar pass-catch combo that led the Aggies to a 9-2 record and an at-large berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs last season, are possible late-round selections in the forthcoming NFL draft, or could be signed as free agents afterward.
At 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Wilmer, who lives near Bustleton and Tomlinson in the Northeast, knows the odds against becoming the next Russell Wilson or even making an NFL roster.
"It's always been an uphill battle for me because of my size," the 22-year-old said. "You have to prove yourself every time out there. But I welcome the challenge. I have confidence in myself."
With 3,138 career receiving yards, the 6-2, 205-pound Bailey, who grew up in the Abbotsford Homes complex in East Falls, is Delaware Valley's all-time leader. He was named the Maxwell Football Club's Brian Westbrook player of the year in December.
"To be in the position I am now is a dream, a real blessing," Bailey said. "I'm eager to show people what I bring to the table. I'm hungrier than ever to take the next step."
In directing the Aggies to an 8-1 mark in the Middle Atlantic Conference last season, Wilmer, a four-year starter, connected on 185 of 316 passes (58.5 percent) for 3,228 yards and 30 touchdowns.
While playing for Ron Cohen at Washington, Wilmer said, "a lot of the bigger schools shied away from me." Declining an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Temple, he redshirted at West Chester before transferring to Delaware Valley.
Wilmer threw for 10,157 yards and ran for 1,638 in his career. He is one of only 26 quarterbacks at any NCAA level to throw for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000.
In three years as a starter, Bailey made 165 catches for a school-record 3,138 yards and 29 TDs. His numbers last season were record-breaking: 80 receptions for 1,707 yards and 19 touchdowns.
At the end of Villanova's pro day, Bailey, impressive in the 60-yard shuttle and three-cone drills, was pulled aside by Eagles scouts for a chat. The 21-year-old has been clocked at between 4.5 and 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
"The Chiefs, Bills, and Colts have been in regular contact with 'Sheed," said Aggies coach Duke Greco, a quarterback at Lower Moreland (Class of 1996) and Delaware Valley. "He's a pretty complete player. He's improved every year."
Wilmer also worked out for NFL scouts at a regional combine in Baltimore. Three Canadian Football League teams - the BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers - have expressed interest.
Wilmer said he has no fear of nerves getting in the way Wednesday in South Philly. "Once I get a football in my hands, I'm in a zone," he said.